The Soldier’s Dog – Perfect Picture Book

The Soldier’s Dog

Doreen Norberg,  Author and Illustrator

Xlibris Corporation, Fiction, 2010

Suitable for:  Ages 4 and up

Themes: Therapy Dogs, Friendship, Healing

Opening/Synopsis“Otis was a little Pug puppy who lived in a place called the Puppy Patch.  On day, the lady who took care of Otis had a long talk with him.  She told him, “Otis, I have an important mission for you.  There is a young soldier a long way from here who is in need of a friend.  This soldier’s mother has chosen you to help her son.”  This is a story about a young soldier who returns from war and has difficulty adjusting to everyday life.  Otis travels on a plane almost 2,000 miles away from home.  The soldier and Otis develop a warm and strong bond.  The soldier needs Otis as much as Otis needs the love and friendship of the soldier.  He bought Otis a camouflage collar, to match his own uniform.  One day the soldier begins to smile again.

Why I like this story:  Animals have a healing impact on individuals.  They provide emotional support and healing when other approaches don’t work.    It is a reminder to us how important and beneficial an animal relationship can be to a person who has been damaged, particularly by war.  The author has done a lovely job of telling this story.  Her  illustrations a colorful and bold.  She has donated a part of the proceeds of this book to The Good Dog Foundation, where dogs are trained to help humans heal.

Resources:  The Good Dog Foundation suggests that you have your child read to dogs.  It’s a popular activity in the organization.  It helps children with their reading skills, boosts their self-esteem and teaches them how to interact in a calm way with dogs.


To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

44 thoughts on “The Soldier’s Dog – Perfect Picture Book

  1. This book sounds wonderful, Pat. I love books about animal therapy. I’ve actually met a bunch of key people in The Good Dog Foundation – I was going to write a story for them at one point but it didn’t work out. Thanks for adding this one to our list!


  2. I love pugs as high as love can go ( I would love to get one). I have read a bunch of books about dogs helping people, but I never thought about them helping service-people. My sister’s pet chinchilla is actually part of her therapy and it helps her with her self esteem.


  3. Yay – this book looks awesome! We had Sunny, a service dog, come with his Veteran to talk with our third graders this year – those animals are AmAzInG! And you’re spot on about their healing effect! Thanks, Pat!


  4. As our dog Toby patiently waits under his favorite coffee table for us to take him to the park, it is wonderful to see this book lifted up and the video from the Good Dog Foundation was wonderful. I’ve posted a link to this article to my Feel Good Friday series on Facebook.


  5. I love Oti’s sweet face on the cover. What a lovely story and important to realise how dogs can minister in this way. They even do on the field, too!


  6. You always choose the most unique books. I haven’t heard of The Good Dog foundation, but now am off to go check them out. Thanks, Pat!


  7. What an excellent book, and a perfect one for you to end your month on. Thank you! (I’m a cat person myself, but can certainly see the value of the unconditional love of a dog to a person in such need of healing.)


  8. Oh Patricia, this sounds like a heartwarming book. Thank you for sharing this. I am catching up on friends’ posts since my entire sensibilities have been consumed and wrapped around the recently concluded Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) here in Singapore. Hope everything is well with you Pat!


  9. As Julie said…”What a face”.. just loved this book and can imagine our Buddy would have been a great dog for that kind of “work” very loving and gentle, if he was still alive. Great choice to end your series on Pat.


  10. Patricia…you always find books that are unique and special…and support your mission to help others in need. 🙂 This one is perfect…dogs (and other animals) can be trained to help in specific ways…but I think it is their loving nature and loyalty that are most precious!
    Our local libraries have a program for reluctant readers who read books to dogs…I think there are many such programs across the country.


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